Joanne-isms and Other Stuff That Finally Makes Sense 

I used to think my mom was nuts, (on several things I still believe Joanne was a little cuckoo). It’s only as 50 is knocking at my door do I realize some of the things she said make more sense, or finally make sense. 

I remember her stating, with an aggressive growl, to change the tv channel when “Roseanne” came on. I kinda liked the show and didn’t follow her disdain for it. She would add that Roseanne was nothing but a loud mouth that emotionally battered her family and treated her husband like he was a complete idiot. That was so over-my-head at the time, but I can see it now. The weight of words can be light and empowering or critical and condemning. Children learn by example and the show did not exemplify respectful speak to each other and their parents. Not to mention when a husband is repeatedly told he’s an idiot, he will retreat and disengage from the relationship. 

My mom had a kids clothing store for years. To say we lived in a small town is an understatement. I remember when we actually hit 2000 on the population sign. Whoohoo! She would pride herself in finding the perfect dresses for Easter and Christmas for her customers. She would only get one of a style so that no one else would have the same dress, of course unless mom asked to have one special ordered for sisters. 

I remember her being outraged when one of the companies she worked with decided to drop her as a customer so that they could take on a bigger chain store. I never realized the implications of what happens to local businesses when the “big guys” come to town. It wasn’t too terribly long after this that she sold the store. 

Joanne was probably the most critical of my hair than anyone, ever!!! I was naturally blonde and couldn’t understand why I would want to color it such strange colors. She would say, and I quote, “You have the most beautiful God given naturally blonde hair, why would you do such harsh looking things to it?” This was the predicted statement anyone would hear if they complimented my hair while in her presence. 

When my mom was in the hospital at the end of her illness, she had the most darling nurse. Danielle had beautiful beautiful blonde hair. I should know, I did it. The first time my mom met her, she said “You have such beautiful blonde hair. My daughter has the most beautiful God given naturally blonde hair, but she does such harsh looking things to it.” Danielle quickly replied with, “Oh my, are you Annisa’s mom?” Oh yes, Joanne was indeed my mom. She didn’t really understand my need to be expressive with my outward appearance. She would have a complete and utter meltdown if she could see my crazy exterior now! 

I understand her desire to be “blend in” and not stand out was protective of her position as a politicians wife and business owner. Don’t give anyone fuel to call you out. I guess my crazy exterior is s type of protection as well. I used to use it as a shield, so that I would be unapproachable. So no one could see deep inside how incredibly broken I truly was. But here I am, loud and proud! 

Yes, here I am. Finally authentic to my core beliefs and my truth. My truth, like everyone’s truth, is that we are all broken in some way. We all have hurts and wounds of our soul. It’s important to know we can walk in truth with each other and stand in the gap for others.

I can’t help but think of one of the things Joanne would say when my hair was in my face and I would tuck it behind my ears; “your ears are not barrettes Annisa!” Well Mom, I’m approaching 50 and my ‘cheater readers’ have now become my headband! 

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